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Wren Kitchens

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Wren Kitchens
Private
IndustryRetail & Manufacturing
FoundedHowden, United Kingdom (2009)
HeadquartersBarton-Upon-Humber, United Kingdom
Number of locations
84[1]
Area served
United Kingdom.
Key people
Malcolm Healey (Owner)
Mark Pullan (Managing Director)
ProductsKitchens
RevenueIncrease £490.1 million[2]
Number of employees
4,500+ (2017)[3]
Websitewww.wrenkitchens.com

Wren Kitchens is a privately owned British designer, manufacturer, and retailer of kitchens. The company has 84 showrooms[4] in the United Kingdom, and its headquarters is in Barton-Upon-Humber in North Lincolnshire, England.

History

Wren Kitchens, Leeds, Crown Point Shopping Park
Wren Kitchens, Leeds, Crown Point Shopping Park

Wren Kitchens was founded in 2009. The management team behind Wren traded for 10 years in the United States before the business was sold and the team moved back to the United Kingdom.[5]

The Nest, Wren Kitchens headquarters, Barton-upon-Humber
The Nest, Wren Kitchens headquarters, Barton-upon-Humber

The company employs over 4,000 people and is one of the largest employers in the Humber region, and was in 2019 named Retail Employer of the Year by jobs website Indeed.[6] In 2016, the firm reported record turnover growth as sales surged past £338 million.[7] This also grew in 2017, with reported revenue of £406 million.[8]

In 2019, Wren reported a new record turnover of £490.1 million for the financial year ending 31 December 2018, an increase of 20.7%, and a pre-tax profit of £37.1 million, up 124% year-on-year. The company said it believed there was a significant opportunity for further growth in the UK and beyond.[9]

Wren Kitchens is owned by the group West Retail.

Manufacturing

Wren Kitchens Scunthorpe manufacturing facility (500,000 sq ft).
Wren Kitchens Howden manufacturing facility (250,000 sq ft).

Until December 2013, the headquarters were in Howden, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom, where it still operates a factory. Wren manufactures all of its kitchen units in its own production plants in Scunthorpe, Howden and Barton-Upon-Humber.[10] The 180 acre Barton-Upon-Humber site was acquired in August 2013 from Kimberly-Clark.[11] In January 2019, Wren Kitchens signed up for a 150,000 sq ft warehouse at the Humber Enterprise Park, near Hull.[12]

Wren has been awarded FIRA International Gold Certification by The Furniture Industry Research Association,[13] the recognised quality mark for products or installation services within the furniture and kitchen industries. It has received the award for its products in 2014 and for its installation standards in 2017. In 2018, Wren introduced the world’s first 3D online kitchen planner for its customers, making it easier for them to choose colours and units.[14]

Wren information advisor Ryan Beecham, who raps in his spare time under the name CiVil, became an unwitting YouTube star when his kitchen-based rap ‘The Wren Difference’ was turned into an online advert, which has been viewed more than 1.5m times and attracted national media coverage.[15]

In 2019, Wren was awarded the Made In Britain marque. Made In Britain brings together the best manufacturers in the UK, through the use of its registered collective mark, guaranteeing that members’ products are made in Britain and comply to the highest standards.[16]

In 2019, The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM), a trade association that represents the interests of the British furniture industry, welcomed Wren Kitchens into the association as an ‘Approved Member’.[17]

Wren offered to find jobs for up to 280 staff at Kingstown Furniture in Hull, which closed its doors in March 2019.[18] By June 2019, over 40 former Kingstown Furniture staff had secured positions with Wren.[19] It plans to open up to 18 new showrooms during the year and is currently delivering manufacturing more than 2,000 kitchens a week at its three production sites.[20]

In June 2019, Wren announced plans for a £120 million expansion of its manufacturing headquarters in Barton-upon-Humber, North Lincolnshire, almost doubling manufacturing output to keep up with growing consumer demand. Wren is seeking planning permission for a new 910,000 sq. ft. facility, which to be built behind the existing Wren factory on part of its 180-acre site, which has been earmarked for further development. The new factory will create up to 1,200 new manufacturing jobs with additional roles in engineering, IT, customer service and product development. The project, once completed, will be the single largest investment in the company’s history.[21]

Controversy

In 2015, Wren Kitchens was investigated by BBC Watchdog for providing customers with poor customer service. The investigation found that the company had provided partial orders to customers and was extremely slow to rectify issues. The firm responded by stating that they are heavily investing in improving their customer service department.[22]

In Spring 2016, the firm was one of 12 kitchen brands researched by the consumer association Which?. WrenLiving came second from last out of the 12 kitchen companies assessed.[23]

In November 2016, Wren Kitchens said it would honour any quote provided by Betta Living when the rival kitchen retailer went into administration "in order to maintain the public’s trust in the UK kitchen market".[24] The firm's "aggressive expansion" had been previous cited by The Times[25] as the reason for the collapse of HomeForm Group (parent company of Möben Kitchens & Sharps Bedrooms). Wren subsequently offered to protect the deposits of customers affected by the collapse of the group.[26]

In March 2017 the firm was fined £12,000 after pleading guilty to breaking the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, Regulation 9 and the European Communities Act 1972 Section 2(2), by misleading customers on kitchen pricing.[27][28]

In August 2017, Which? undertook an investigation against companies within the kitchen industry to understand the differences in quote prices. The investigation found that quotes between stores could vary, with one discounted quote being 11% cheaper for the same kitchen at different stores. However, pre-sale/discount quotes were mostly identical.[29]

In October, 2017, the firm featured on the television show Rip Off Britain.[30]

Charity work and community

In March 2014, Wren Kitchens donated £437,080 to charities supporting victims of the 2013-14 United Kingdom winter floods.[31] The firm has also raised money for children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent and Macmillan Cancer Support.[32]

Wren Kitchens said it would "match all B&Q quotes" for customers and had "opened vacancies"[33] to the 400 design consultants whose jobs were at risk at competitor B&Q following a restructure.[34]

Awards and achievements

References

  1. ^ "Kitchen Showrooms". Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Profits double at company behind Wren Kitchens".
  3. ^ "300 jobs to be created by Wren Living as kitchen maker announces plan for another major expansion". Scunthorpe Telegraph.
  4. ^ "Kitchen Showrooms". Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  5. ^ richchristianson (16 October 2011). "Former Mill's Pride Owner Making Cabinets in UK". Woodworking Network. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Wren Kitchens crowned UK's top employer by Indeed kbbreview". kbbreview. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Wren grows sales past £338m". Cabinet Maker. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Profits boosted at kitchen manufacturer despite inefficiencies caused by new site". The Business Desk. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Profits double at company behind Wren Kitchens kbbreview". kbbreview. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  10. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-35934469
  11. ^ http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/wren-s-new-hq-to-create-500-jobs-1-5936269
  12. ^ "Wren Kitchens signs up for Humber development". SHD Logistics News. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Wren Kitchens awarded FIRA Gold Installation Certification". www.kbbdaily.com. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Huddersfield studio unveils 3D online kitchen planner for Wren Kitchens". Prolific North. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  15. ^ Innes, Richard (21 December 2018). "Sales assistant pens a rap about his job - and his impressed bosses turn it into a music video". mirror. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Wren Kitchens awarded Made in Britain marque". SHD Logistics News. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Wren Kitchens joins BFM". www.furniturenews.net. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  18. ^ Winter, Phil (14 March 2019). "Staff at Kingstown Furniture thrown lifeline with jobs at another firm". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  19. ^ Winter, Phil (24 May 2019). "Wren Kitchens takes on over 40 staff hit by Kingstown Furniture closure". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  20. ^ Winter, Phil (14 March 2019). "Staff at Kingstown Furniture thrown lifeline with jobs at another firm". Hull Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Kitchen firm to create 1,200 new jobs". 6 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  22. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3lqvK2zXdhd399TdpX7pBtH/wren-kitchens
  23. ^ http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/fitted-kitchens/article/best-kitchen-brands/best-and-worst-kitchen-brands
  24. ^ "Furniture retailer Betta Living falls into administration". Retail Week. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Aggressive Expansion of Wren Kitchens brings downfall for HomeForm Group".
  26. ^ "Wren Kitchens helps rival's customers".
  27. ^ http://www.kbbdaily.com/article/4705/wren-living-fined-%C2%A312,000
  28. ^ https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/company-fined-12k-for-misleading-kitchen-prices
  29. ^ "Revealed: why you could be overpaying for your fitted kitchen". Which?. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  30. ^ "Rip Off Britain - Series 9: Episode 14". BBC. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  31. ^ "Wren Living supports Community Foundations | Cornwall Foundation". www.cornwallfoundation.com. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  32. ^ "Our partnership with Wren Kitchens - Working with us - Macmillan Cancer Support". www.macmillan.org.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  33. ^ "Wren Kitchens 'offers support' to at-risk B&Q employees". kbbdaily.com. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  34. ^ "B&Q announces sales overhaul with 700 employees consulted over new roles". RetailSector. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  35. ^ http://www.yourhomemagazine.co.uk/article/2364/shopping/the-official-your-home-awards-2018-winners
  36. ^ http://www.fasttrack.co.uk/company_profile/west-retail-group/
  37. ^ TWK. "West Retail Group - Fast Track". Fast Track. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  38. ^ https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2017/10/farfetch-primark-uk-fastest-growing-retailers/
  39. ^ "Top-Rated Workplaces: Best in the Private Sector - Indeed Blog". Indeed Blog. 22 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  40. ^ "Top-Rated UK Workplaces: Best Retailers | Indeed.co.uk". www.indeed.co.uk. Retrieved 27 March 2019.

External links